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'He thanked me for my song'

Last year, Republic Polytechnic student Dominic Chin made a six-minute music video tribute titled You First Believed for Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

It features old footage of Mr Lee giving speeches, as well as snippets of young adults thanking him for making Singapore into what it is today.

It has attracted more than 220,000 views since it was uploaded on YouTube in mid-February last year.

Mr Chin, 19, who wrote the lyrics and sang the song, said he received a thank you e-mail from Mr Lee about a month later.

The former Prime Minister wrote: "Thank you very much for writing the song which I enjoyed very much.

"The credit for building up Singapore cannot be attributed to me alone. It took the determined effort of successive generations of dedicated Cabinet Ministers, public servants and the support of Singaporeans to build up what we enjoy today.

"I hope that the younger generations of Singapore will continue to work hard and make Singapore even more vibrant and successful going forward."

It may have just been a few lines, but it meant the world to Mr Chin.

He told The New Paper: "I printed out the e-mail in hard copy and I keep it in my closet now. I definitely hold it close to my heart.

"Other than being star-struck that (Mr Lee) responded, I felt I did my job in informing him that he is not forgotten. I am glad he got to know...that the younger generation does support him and respect him."

As for penning a follow-up as a eulogy for Mr Lee, Mr Chin said: "The original project was to let him know that he's appreciated when he's still alive. (In the past couple of days), so many people (have been) posting about Mr Lee on social media, but why should we honour someone only when they are dead? What's the point if they can't hear it any more?"

DEVASTATED

Mr Chin, who will be going to Parliament House today to pay his respects, said the week leading up to Mr Lee's death was a "nervous period" for him.

And when he heard the bad news early Monday morning, he felt "devastated".

He recalled: "My grandmother broke the news to me. He has been so sick for so long so I guess it's quite expected, but I was still shocked. I never imagined a Singapore without Mr Lee, so it felt surreal at first.

"I feel sad that he can't celebrate SG50 with us."

"I printed out the e-mail in hard copy and I keep it in my closet now. I definitely hold it close to my heart."

- Mr Dominic Chin